Art Industry News: A Very Special Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room Heads to Texas + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Steve Bannon has a fake-news portrait of himself as Napoleon and the Armory Show moves its 2018 dates.

Yayoi Kusama. Photo: © Yayoi Kusama; Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo /Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York; KUSAMA Enterprise.

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Tuesday, July 11.


What’s the Future of Dubai’s Art Scene? — While the emirate’s art ecosystem has grown to become more rounded, a healthy collector base is hard to establish with 90 percent of the population being expats. (Apollo)

Steve Bannon’s Portrait as Napoleon — A New York profile of the right-wing White House Chief Strategist and former Breitbart News executive chair reveals that Bannon owns a painting of himself dressed as Napoleon, made in the style of Jacques-Louis David. It was a gift from none other than Nigel Farage, and the internet is having a field day with it. (The Guardian)

Luke Willis Thompson on His Chilling Work at London’s Chisenhale — The artist created a film portrait of Diamond Reynolds, the Minnesota woman who live broadcast the traffic check during which her partner, Philando Castile, was shot by police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter just a week before the work debuted. (Art in America)

Philosopher and Art Critic Resigns From DIEM25 — The Italian Marxist thinker Franco “Bifo” Berardi has penned a virulent open letter to announce his resignation from the board of the DIEM25, aka Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, the pan-European organization founded by former Greek finance minister (and sometime art critic) Yanis Varoufakis. In his tirade of a letter, Berardi compares Europe’s refugee crisis to the Holocaust, denounces Europe as nationalist, colonialist, and capitalist, and declares himself “not European.” e-flux reprinted the letter in full, regrettably without commentary. (e-flux conversations)


The Armory Show Changes Dates for 2018 Edition — The Armory Show will open its preview on March 7, rather than in the last week of February. While Independent Art Fair and NADA quickly followed suit, ADAA will maintain its February dates with an opening gala on the 27th. (ARTnews)

Was the Jewelry Heist at Masterpiece an Inside Job? – CCTV footage shows the two men who absconded with $3.9 million worth of precious stones calmly walking the fair’s aisles and opening the cabinet where the diamond jewels were stored with a key. (The Evening Standard)

Phillips Promotes Jean-Paul Engelen to Deputy Chairman, Americas — Although Engelen moves up from his role as worldwide co-head of 20th-century and contemporary art at the auction house, he will continue to oversee the department together with Robert Manley. (Press release)

Washburn Gallery Moves from Midtown to Chelsea — After 25 years on 57th Street, the gallery will open in its new location on 177 10th Avenue in September with a show titled “Save the NEA” that will look at the WPA program, which, as part of the New Deal, supported artists by commissioning public artworks across the US. The exhibition will include work by WPA artists Philip Guston, Stuart Davis, and Jackson Pollock. (Press release)


Agnès b. Will Open an Art Foundation in Paris – The fashion designer, gallerist, and art patron will present her 5,000-piece collection in a private foundation, which will be inaugurated in the spring of 2018. (Agence France-Presse)

Former Chairman of NEH Appointed Senior Fellow at Mellon Foundation — The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation named William D. Adams, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and Michael S. McPherson, outgoing president of the Spencer Foundation, as senior fellows. (Press release)

Rauschenberg Foundation Names Artist as Activist Fellows 2017 – Nine artists and collectives will receive $100,000 for projects addressing mass incarceration, as part of the foundation’s grant program to honor Robert Rauschenberg’s legacy of using art to spark social change. They are Eve Abrams, Chicago Torture Justice Memorial, Erika Cohn, Jesse Krimes, Jo Kreiter, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Zoey Martinson, Alex Rivera & Cristina Ibarra, and SpiritHouse. (Press release)

Participating Artists in 11th Kaunas Biennial Announced – Curator Paulina Pukytė has invited international artists to make site-specific installations that address the history of public art in Lithuania for the biennial, titled “There And Not There,” opening September 15. (Press release)


Dallas Museum of Art Acquires Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin-Themed Infinity Mirror Room – The Instagram-beloved installation titled All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins (2016) will be jointly owned by the Rachofsky Collection and the museum, where it goes on view October 1. (ARTnews)

Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano Among Star-studded Shortlist for Barbican’s New Concert Hall – Norman Foster and the firm behind the High Line have also thrown hats into the ring in the quest to design the new home for the London Symphony Orchestra, expected to cost £250 million. (The Guardian)

Brad Troemel Accuses Fashion Designer of Copying His Grid Paintings – The artist posted side-by-side Instagram shots alleging to show Vika Gazinskaya directly lifted designs from his paintings (which, ironically, satirize issues of appropriation) to use in her Spring 2018 ready-to-wear collection. (ARTnews)

See Erwin Wurm’s Wacky Sculptures in Germany – The Austrian sculptor encourages visitors to interact with his funny and political artworks. Below, see pictures of his sculptures currently on view at the Lehmbruck Museum and the Küppersmühle Museum in Duisberg.


Erwin Wurm, Halber Big Suit, (2016). Photo: courtesy studio Erwin Wurm, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017.

Erwin Wurm, Fat Convertible, (2005). Photo: Erwin Wurm © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017.

Erwin Wurm, The Artist who Swallowed the World, (2006). Photo: Colin Davison, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017.

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